Place the torn kale in a large bowl and sprinkle lightly with salt. Rub the salt into the kale leaves (this helps tenderize the greens) and set aside while you make the vinaigrette.
Slice the peel and pith from the citrus and cut them into rounds about ¼-inch thick. Place them in a small bowl and spoon a bit of the vinaigrette over them. Dress the kale with the vinaigrette to taste. Set the greens and citrus aside for another 10 minutes or so to allow the vinaigrette to work its magic.
To assemble the salad, add the citrus (along with any juice at the bottom of the bowl) to the kale. Add half the pepitas and half of the sliced dates. Toss gently to combine. Place the salad on a serving platter or individual plates and top with the remaining dates and pepitas.
The dressed kale and citrus will hold for a day in the fridge (don’t add the pepitas or they’ll get soggy). The vinaigrette will hold for 3-4 days, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.
Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette and Spiced Pepitas
Vanilla Bean Viniagrette: Using a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and place them in a medium bowl with the sugar, shallot, sherry vinegar, lemon juice and salt. Add the oil in a thin stream while whisking. Set aside for at least 10 minutes to allow the shallot to mellow and the flavors to come together.
Spiced Pepitas: Place the pepitas in a medium skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until they begin to turn golden brown, pop and smell nutty. Immediately transfer the hot pepitas to a small bowl and add the olive oil, cumin, honey and salt. Stir to coat evenly. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set the seasoned pepitas aside to cool.